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Nsefu Camp

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

Highlights

- Unique, historic camp
- Stunning riverside location
- Wildlife and viewing hide in camp
- 'Emerald Season' river trips

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Overview

Nsefu Camp is an authentic, historic bush camp in a stunning waterside location within the secluded Nsefu sector of South Luangwa National Park, eastern Zambia. Nestled on a bend of the Luangwa River in a peaceful, game rich area, the camp offers high quality hosting and guiding, along with unique, characterful accommodation for just 12 guests. Constructed in 1951, Nsefu was Zambia’s first safari camp, and today holds listed building status from the Zambian government. The surrounding terrain of oxbow lagoons, vast grassy plains, and riverine woodland is home to an impressive abundance of bird and wildlife including lion, elephant, leopard, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, and the elusive wild dog.

An hour’s drive from both Mfuwe Airport and its sister camp Nkwali, Nsefu operates from May to November, and for a few weeks during the January to March ‘Emerald’ season, when the Luangwa River floods, transforming the landscape. Visitors during October and November should prepare for extremely high temperatures, at a time when wildlife density is at a peak.

The camp’s open-sided main building or ‘chitenge’ is a thatched, airy construction comprising a traditionally furnished lounge and bar area, with great river views. Communal meals are served either alfresco or in the open-sided dining room. Outside is a lovely campfire area overlooking the water, and a viewing hide beside a lagoon popular with elephants, baboons, and warthogs. The camp runs on solar power, and provides charging facilities in both guest rooms and the main area. Wi-Fi is available, although there is no mobile phone reception.

Activities include day and night game drives and guided walks with informed, enthusiastic guides. Cultural visits to the local village and schools are encouraged, along with excursions to Mfuwe’s vibrant shops (‘dukas’) and markets. Visitors during the January to March ‘Emerald’ season can take to the water for boat trips along the Luangwa River. Nsefu is one of only two camps in this area, so guests enjoy the privilege of abundant wildlife with minimal vehicle traffic.

The accommodation comprises just six original brick and thatch circular chalets or ‘rondavels’ with wonderful views. Simply but comfortably furnished, each unit sleeps two guests in double or twin beds, draped with mosquito nets. All chalets benefit from an eco-friendly ‘Evening Breeze’ air conditioning system, which gently maintains air temperatures around the bed. Each chalet has an open-air, ensuite bathroom, with washbasin, WC and shower. Outside is a private veranda with seating, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the surrounding wildlife.

Children aged 12 years and over are very welcome, although parents should note that the camp is remote and unfenced, and while it’s rare for animals to approach chalets or humans, wildlife does roam through. Parents are reminded that children should be supervised at all times, and families with younger children may prefer to consider a stay at Nsefu’s sister camp, Nkwali, which is an hour’s drive away, and offers a pool and dedicated family unit.

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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 508 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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